The determination of the magnitude of sonic boom exposure which would be acceptable to the general population requires, as a starting point, a method to assess and compare individual sonic booms. There is no consensus within the scientific and regulatory communities regarding an appropriate sonic boom assessment metric. Loudness, being a fundamental and well-understood attribute of human hearing was chosen as a means of comparing sonic booms of differing shapes and amplitudes. The figure illustrates the basic steps which yield a calculated value of loudness. Based upon the aircraft configuration and its operating conditions, the sonic boom pressure signature which reaches the ground is calculated. This pressure-time history is transformed to the frequency domain and converted into a one-third octave band spectrum. The essence of the loudness method is to account for the frequency response and integration characteristics of the auditory system. The result of the calculation procedure is a numerical description (perceived level, dB) which represents the loudness of the sonic boom waveform.